Caffè Nibes: Good Value Italian Roast Nespresso®-compatible Coffee Capsules Delivered to Your Door
A while back I got an email from an Italian company offering me a selection of their Nespresso®-compatible coffee capsules to review. I’ve done it before, twice, so why not do it again?, I thought. Some time later I gleefully struggled to retrieve from my (physical) mailbox a large carton chock-full of enticing, individually-wrapped Caffè Nibes Nespresso®-compatible capsules.
With a website in English, French, German and the original Italian, Caffè Nibes produces 5 varieties of Nespresso®-compatible coffee capsules, using Robusta and Arabica coffee beans. The capsules are made of plastic and come individually wrapped in a foil pouch to ensure freshness. When you open the pouch, a whiff of delicious coffee smell comes out. As a point of comparison, genuine Nespresso® capsules are made of recyclable aluminium which locks in freshness, so no outer pouch in required. As well as being very convenient, this is a great space- and cost-saving feature, both for storage and for shipping.
The plastic Caffè Nibes capsules themselves all arrived in perfect condition, and all of them fit my Nespresso® machine and brewed/extracted a good cup of coffee without incident. That in itself is a great point, as not all compatible capsules are created equal.
Arabica vs. Robusta
Have you ever noticed the difference between, say, French and Italian coffee styles? Whenever I order espresso in a bar or a restaurant in France, I can tell at first whiff, even without looking at the brand printed on the cup, if it’s an Italian coffee or a French one. Think Lavazza vs. les Cafés Richard. Italian-style coffees have a bigger bite to them, almost bitter as opposed to the smoother French taste. I have decided that it must be due to the roasting process but also to the type of bean, i.e. Arabica vs. Robusta, and I personally prefer Arabica.
Caffè Nibes roasts and processes its coffee right in Italy, using both Arabica and Robusta beans. They produce 5 types of Nespresso®-compatible coffee capsules, of which I received 4 varieties to review: Miscela Cremaroma; Miscela Extra Bar; Ristretto Italiano and Miscela Decaffeinato. (A quick hop over to Google Translate revealed that Miscela in Italian means “mixture” or “blend.”) Follow the links to their website and check out their chart below for details of bean, body, intensity and machine compatibility.
As I did in my previous comparisons, I decided to enlist the aid of visiting friends and duly prepared a tasting sheet with columns for marking various attributes. As we are all coffee drinkers, everyone played along and tasted one or two varieties over Sunday brunch. The results were very varied and very much reflect the differences between beans and roasting styles, so let’s have a closer look.
My personal favourite was the Miscela Decaffeinato. No surprise there, as it’s a blend of 90% Arabica (my favourite) and a nice little 10% boost of Robusta. It tastes like real coffee and goes down a treat, without the caffeine. I drank the samples so quickly, there weren’t any left for my guest tasters to try 😉
My second favourite is the Miscela Cremaroma, which surprised me because I usually prefer a bolder tasting coffee than this pleasantly mild 100% Arabica offering. It produces a beautiful crema and a good cup of coffee. Three of my guest testers tried the Cremaroma and had varying opinions on it, all underlining the mildness of flavour. One loved the mild flavour (“Pleasant, mild and light”); two didn’t find it had enough (“Not much taste; perfect for people who don’t like coffee.” “Too little intensity in the mouth; very little taste; slightly bitter; not very nice.”) Based on the overall comments on all three coffees, this is a perfect illustration of the Arabica vs. Robusta comparison and shows that my friends prefer Robusta while I prefer Arabica, and I stand behind my classification of this blend in second place.
Again based on bean preferences, the same person who thought the Cremaroma was bitter and not very nice very much enjoyed the Miscela Extra Bar 70% Robusta 30% Arabica blend. They thought it had a nice crema but was a bit harsh tasting, although delivering a good, long-lasting coffee taste for a very pleasant cup of coffee. Another taster said that this one seemed a bit bland at the beginning but that it developed into a nicely balanced coffee.
Last but not least is the truly Italian Ristretto Italiano, a big, bold 100% Robusta coffee which three of my tasters tested and enjoyed, qualifying it as somewhat bitter and quite intense. This sounds like a good description of a Ristretto, and Caffè Nibes’ version does a good job.
Great price point, great savings
Caffè Nibes’ starting price point is well below original Nespresso® capsules at 0.33€ each for 100 identical Nespresso®-compatible capsules of any variety, and great value at just 0.29€ each for an assortment of 200 capsules. (Oddly enough, the per-capsule price actually increases the more capsules you buy: 200 capsules cost 72€ or 0.36€ per capsule and 300 capsules for 106€ or 0.353€ each.) As of this writing (June 2017) there is a super introductory sale going on with prices slashed by up to 50%, bringing the per-capsule price down to a very advantageous 0.19€ for 100 capsules, 0.175€ per capsule for 200, and 0.173€ per capsule for 300 capsules. Now that’s interesting!
International Delivery via DHL
Caffè Nibes delivers to a long list of Continental European countries including the UK, Spain, France and Germany. The flat rate for up to 5 kg via DHL is €14.99 to these countries, covering deliveries up to 200 capsules, or €16.99 for up to 10 kg, the latter price applied to 300 capsules. This means that during the sale your 300 same-variety delivered capsules will cost a total of €68.99 or just 0.23€ per capsule, or €72.99 for the assortment of 300 – just 0.243€ per capsule.
Caffè Nibes, a good-value alternative coffee capsule
I have said before and will continue to say that of all the capsule coffees I have tasted so far, my personal favourite is and most likely always will be original Nespresso® capsules, both for their taste, body and intensity as well as for the convenient and eco-friendly aluminium capsules. That said, I am very impressed by Caffè Nibes’ capsules – and the coffee they contain! – and feel that they are a good alternative for the price-conscious coffee drinker who appreciates a hearty Italian roast Robusta coffee.
Sponsored post; all opinions expressed here are those of the author and/or her volunteer guest tasters and you are welcome to form your own.